Youngstown Approves Façade Funds for 5 Businesses

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city’s Design Review Committee approved façade grants totaling nearly $83,000 for five city businesses but deferred action on a fifth request.

The businesses that received grants were Hackett’s Pub, 1597 Mahoning Ave., for 14,750; G’s Chop Shop, 719 Canfield Road, for $17,625; Hope for Renewal Inc., $20,000; Resource Property Group, $13,394; and Scott Auto Group LLC, 1835 Glenwood Ave., $16,977.

The funds will be used to support exterior improvement projects such as signage, windows, lighting, painting and siding and parking lot expansions. The program is funded by a portion of the city’s American Rescue Plan allocation.

The committee met Tuesday morning to approve the funds, which are offered as forgivable loans that require the recipient to remain at the location for five years, with 20% of the loan forgiven each year.

The grant approved for Resource Property Group will cover half of the proposed $26,768 project, which will include repairing and replacing rotted wood, installation of a new monolith sign and replacement of the existing canned lighting hanging from the front of the building with LED lighting.

The new exterior lighting and signage will reflect that the building is in a professional rather than retail area and indicate “we’re open for business in Youngstown,” said Jeff Byce, owner of Byce Auction and Byce Realty, which are housed at the Wick Avenue building.

The grant for G’s Chop Shop, a barber shop, also will cover about half of the $35,250 cost of its project, which will include new asphalt; siding, window and door replacement; new exterior lighting; and bollard installation.

“It’ll be a premium vinyl siding,” said Ian Beniston, executive director of Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, which bought the Canfield Road building about six months ago. G’s, which has been there for eight years, will remain a tenant in the building, he said.

In other business, the committee approved construction of a new fuel canopy structure at the Western Reserve Transit Authority, 604 Mahoning Ave. Taking up an item originally introduced at its may meeting, members also approved one of two 3-foot-by-10-foot electronic signs that Mahoning County Children’s Services sought for its building at 22 W. Federal St.

Members voted to approve the sign on the side of the building entrance that faces North Hazel Street but not a proposed sign facing West Federal after concerns were raised over how light from the sign might affect residents of the Wells Building directly across the street.

Light pollution is “a legitimate question,” Hunter Morrison, city planning consultant, said.

The committee deferred acting on a request by Rossi Business Transition Solutions Inc., 147 W. Federal St., for $20,000 to support $52,259 in improvements that include excavating and installing a blacktop parking lot area, installing a stairwell for a new rear building entrance and a new black iron rod power fence and gate, and landscaping.

Members deferred action because no one representing the company was available to answer questions about the project.

Additionally, the committee deferred acting on a proposed single-family house to be constructed at 361 Redondo Road by Schumacher Homes, Ravenna. The ranch house is being built for Richard and Anna Henderson, who are moving back to the area from Texas.

New home construction is “a regional need, both in the city and regionally,” committee member Nick Chretien said.

Members of the committee expressed support for new housing in the city but requested aesthetics more in line with the character of the historic neighborhood than the pewter vinyl siding with white trim and asphalt shingles being proposed.

“Obviously, you’re building in a kind of historic, more traditional neighborhood, but the color scheme for a lot of the houses there are more earth tones as opposed to gray,” committee member Jonathan Imler said. “Sticking with the ranch house would be fine, but aesthetically it needs some styling to tie into the existing neighborhood a little bit better.”

Anna Henderson said she would submit a revised design that addressed the committee’s concerns, and the committee agreed to hold a special meeting within the next two weeks, after she submits the revisions, to help her meet deadlines tied to her financing.

“Yeah, I don’t think anyone was against the construction of a new house. It was just taking a little extra time to be mindful about the historic design elements incorporated into a historic district,” Chretien said. “We want to make sure we’re adhering to those design principles the best we can.”

Pictured at top: The Wick Avenue building that houses Byce Auction and Byce Realty.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.